Italy Agrees to Supply Israel with Coronavirus Vaccine When Available

Italy Agrees to Supply Israel with Coronavirus Vaccine When Available

The latest COVID-19 information and statistics for the Middle East and North Africa

Israel took another diplomatic step on Thursday to ensure that its population will have access to a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.

Following a meeting in Jerusalem between Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his Italian counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, Ashkenazi’s office issued a statement saying that an agreement had been reached for Italy to supply Israel with doses of a coronavirus vaccine when it is ready for distribution.

Earlier this month, Germany committed to including Israel in Europe’s deal for a vaccine against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as part of Germany’s “special relationship” with Israel because of the Holocaust.

The European Union has signed an agreement with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce 400 million doses of its vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford.

Last month it was reported that the EU was in talks with Italian biotech firm ReiThera about supplying the bloc with a vaccine it is developing.

Israel is developing its own coronavirus vaccine, which will begin human trials on November 1, according to the Defense Ministry, whose Israel Institute for Biological Research is working on what is being called the “BriLife” vaccine.

Prof. Samuel Shapira, director of the research institute, said in an interview with Ynet News that the vaccine would be ready by next summer, calling July 2021 a “reasonable” date for mass distribution.

Israeli media also reported recently that the Mossad brought a Chinese vaccine back to Israel to study and learn from it, although the Israeli Embassy in China told the English-language newspaper Global Times that the Israeli government had not confirmed this.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 7:00 UTC on Friday.

CountryConfirmed casesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Djibouti5,558 615,43166
Iran 596,94134,113472,59890,230
Palestinian Territories52,57147345,4486,650
Saudi Arabia346,4825,363333,0058,114
United Arab Emirates130,336488126,1473,701


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